Johnny Galecki and Juliette Lewis, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
One of the running gags of the Vacation movies is the inconsistency of son Rusty and daughter Audrey, who are played by different actors in each film, often of interchangeable age. In 1989′s Christmas Vacation, the roles were taken over by two relatively unknown actors who, contrary to most of their contemporaries, would go on to fruitful careers as adults. Johnny Galecki had only done two previous movies (one of them another 1989 Christmas movie, Prancer) when he was cast as Rusty; three years later, he made his first appearance as David Healy on Roseanne, becoming Darlene’s love interest and a semi-regular cast member for the show’s last five seasons. For the next ten years he did bit parts on TV and supporting roles in films, but in 2007 he was cast on The Big Bang Theory, so he’s pretty much set for the rest of his life.
Christmas Vacation was the fourth film for Juliette Lewis, who followed it up with an arc on The Wonder Years and a regular role on the short-lived Robert Mitchum sitcom (!) A Family for Joe before becoming one of the more interesting film actors of the ’90s. She focused more on supporting roles and her music career in the 2000s, but her recent turns in films like Whip It and Hick confirmed that she’s still got it, and we can’t wait to see what she does with the juicy supporting role of Karen Weston in the forthcoming film version of Tracy Letts’ mesmerizing August: Osage County.